when i bow my head to meet my destiny—
the hard fact that will not bend—
the battle hymn of my ancestors fills my ears—
my breath meets at the point of yielding and resisting—
and as a soldier i pledge myself
to that which i do not understand.
there is only one answer:
do not try to outrun it—
you only waste your breath.
do not cover it up—
you only compound it.
there is only one answer:
feel it in all its senselessness,
in all its depth and fury.
once you have surrendered
to your one and only master
you are slave to nothing else.
sometimes we are lost in questions
which is to be lost in things unlived.
ghosts of the past, no longer alive
or ghosts of the future, not yet in form.
but we may make use of lifeless thoughts.
we may recognize the fear in them
and where there is fear
there is the chance to face it.
there will always be the question of giving in.
or any number of misfortunes.
but the choice to face fear anyway
is the end of lifelessness
each breath you take may be a question:
do I have the strength?
as long as you’re breathing
your pain is alive
it has a pulse
and it needs to be acknowledged
as a living being.
ask what it needs
thank it for being the messenger
you don’t want but know
deep down you need.
nurture it with questions
and with silence
with not demanding answers
and with patience
and someday it will whisper
the words it has waited
all this time to say.
- There is no right answer.
- Start with options.
- Choose flow over force….
- …but force if necessary with value-driven action.
- The first two hours are a warm up.
- Anything can be done ten minutes at a time.
- Accept the possibility of making no progress, or a mistake, or a shitty first draft.*
- One thing at a time.
- Even the greats don’t know what they’re doing half the time.
- If you’re not facing your fear, you’re not working.
- Limitations are opportunities for creative solutions.
- This isn’t about feeling good.
- It’s about getting on with your life.
- Negative thoughts can be written down, tape recorded, or otherwise set aside so that you can get back to work.
- Leave room for what you can’t imagine.
- It doesn’t have to make sense.
- You don’t have to achieve anything.
- Final grades are based 50% on effort and 50% on self-honesty.
- It’s okay to take it slow.
- Make your own rules.
* See Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott.
maybe there’s a difference between emotions that arise from thinking
and emotions that arise from the body.
in other words, the primary source is the body, not the mind.
they never passed through the mind before reaching you.
these emotions tell the truth, for the body does not lie.
allow yourself to feel them fully.
these are the moments that bring catharsis.
the message will arise if you can be still.
the truth is neither good nor bad.
we do not have a word for it,
and that is for the best,
for we must learn to move beyond words
to define things.
allow yourself to feel
name the emotion, but be mindful of the thoughts
are they adding to a story?
or are they bringing you closer
to the truth?
I’d like to express my gratitude to Eckhart Tolle, whose recent YouTube video inspired this post. His teachings have been life changing for me. I encourage you to check them out.
Pain to power
Doesn’t mean replacing
It doesn't mean
Getting rid of
It means being alive in it
Breathing through it
Listening to it
So you may also
Allow the light to come through
That’s what heals you
That’s what makes you powerful.
Thanks to my friend Dr. Andrea Dinardo for the phrase "pain to power."
I highly recommend you check out her blog, Thriving Under Pressure.
Sometimes peace hurts.
Sometimes peace means feeling all the painful things all over again.
Except with peace, your spirit doesn’t hurt.
Because your heart is open.
You have let go.
What will happen? It’s never certain.
This you have accepted.
Whatever may come, you will be there.
You have committed to steadiness within yourself no matter what happens.
No matter how much it hurts.
No matter how much you miss what you’ve lost.
No matter how many pieces your heart has broken into.
This is why we can’t predict who will find peace.
Because peace does not depend on circumstance.
It does not require complex theories or figuring out.
Peace is proceeding.
One breath at a time.
Because you exist, and for no other reason.
Remember, above all, that peace is your friend.
You need not be lonely anymore.
what would it mean
to take it in turns
to take it all
not waiting for
the perfect vacation
beach breeze, palm trees
but to pause
here and now
amidst the chaos
watch it whirl
watch it all come and go
if you can’t help but want
the pleasant things
if you can’t help but prefer
pleasure to pain
you’re not alone
but i invite you to imagine
just for a moment
what it would mean
to let go of preference
if it made no difference
whether the next moment
brought pleasure or pain
if you believed you stood to gain
and stood to lose
equally from both
can you let go of needing
to feel a certain way?
i know it’s a lot to ask
and i am no master
these are just things
i’ve decided to consider
i’ve decided to ask
your art is the roots.
let it lie dark
and rich like the mud.
is your navigator.
show others the way through their breath
make them like trees
make them bright as stars.
let go of “purpose.”
do it because it moves you.
someday is not your concern
for your time is now.
your shallows shall swell
with the tide.
what you have so heavily resisted
shall become your bread and butter
and the heaviest burdens upon your back
shall become your ballasts.
it is the only way
if you are to light the way forward.